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New England Patriots News 1-1, AFC East Notes

Steve Balestrieri
Steve Balestrieri on Twitter
4 years ago at 5:00 am ET
Posted Under: NFL Commentary

Good morning, here are Sunday’s Patriots news 1-1, and AFC East Notes for this week.

From all of us here at PatsFans.com, we wish you all a Happy and Healthy New Year. So, if the results of your New Year’s Eve has your head a bit fuzzy this morning, here are some football tidbits to have with the morning coffee. And while we don’t get paid to advertise with them, if you prefer your coffee dark and strong, try Black Rifle Coffee, a veteran owned and operated company. It is among the best I’ve ever had…

Another Brady Milestone This Week?
Tom Brady needs just 56 yards passing today to pass Dan Marino to become the 4th all-time leading passer in NFL history. Marino is currently in 4th place with 61,356 yards passing. Brady sits at 61,306.

So, in front of a partisan fan base in Miami, Brady should pass Dan the Man in the first half of today’s game. While Brady never makes a big fuss over his individual accomplishments, it will be interesting to see if the Dolphins acknowledge this milestone.

Questions Once Amendola Returns:
The Patriots may get Danny Amendola back for the Divisional Round of the playoffs, although he hasn’t been seen on the practice field since injuring his ankle. His injury was the main reason they sought the depth of Michael Floyd from the Cardinals.

Floyd played a few snaps against the Jets and should see more against the Dolphins with Malcolm Mitchell doubtful this week with a knee injury. But it begs the question, if and it is still an if right now, Amendola returns and is healthy for the playoffs, will the Patriots opt to keep an extra wide receiver active or will Floyd be a healthy scratch?

It will be an interesting dilemma and frankly, it is a good problem to have. But how would Floyd, a proud and established veteran handle being a healthy scratch come playoff time? Mitchell and Chris Hogan are established in the offense, and if they do decide to keep them all active, someone else will have to be scratched. It will bear watching.

Jamie Collins Comments a Possible Indicator Why He was Traded:
As comments go, this one was pretty telling. Jamie Collins, traded two months ago by the Patriots to the Cleveland Browns was speaking with the media on Friday about his upcoming free agency and was asked if he’d be returning to the Browns.

“Losing is a deterrent but at the same time, money comes into play around that time,” Collins said. “If the money is right then I could stay here. Obviously, I’m not going to turn it down.”

On the surface, the comments seem very selfish but who can argue with a player that wants to get paid? Well, the Patriots are sometimes that “who”. When players’ wants and possible worth conflict with what the team believes is the best value, then those players either walk in free agency or get traded as what happened to Collins.

Speaking of playing in Cleveland, Collins had this to say.

“It’s been pretty good,” he said. “I have zero complaints. Obviously, the win-loss column, but you can’t control everything. You’ve just got to use it and take advantage of the downfalls you get as stepping-stones. I have no doubt about me staying here if that was the case. I would like to be here. But it’s not just me wanting to be here.”

The Patriots defense has been much better since the trade of Collins; however, it should be noted that the team faced a lot of less than prolific offenses down the stretch. The final measuring stick will the playoffs. If the Patriots win the Super Bowl, then the pundits will look upon this as a good trade, if they falter, then the finger pointing will begin, regardless of whether the defense was at fault.

Top 6 Red Zone Offenses Out of the Playoffs:
In a curious twist of fate, the top six teams in terms of Red Zone offenses are out of the playoffs after Week 16. Tennessee, New Orleans, San Francisco, Buffalo, Arizona, and Indy are all eliminated from the playoffs despite being very efficient in the red area on offense. Coincidentally the teams at #7 and #8 are Dallas and New England, the top two seeds of each conference.

Indianapolis is also a Top 5 team in Red Zone defense but despite playing in the AFC South, will miss the playoffs this season. A note to Patriots fans that love these “curse” stories, the top red zone defense belongs to the New York Giants, who beat Dallas twice this season.

Who Do You Like This Week:
Last week’s picks were 8-7 putting me at 146-91-2 for the season.

The last week of the season is almost as difficult in picking as the first. Some teams have checked out, others are resting starters for the playoff push. This week, I’m going with Atlanta, Baltimore, NYG, Houston, Tampa Bay, Detroit, Indy, NE, Minnesota, Buffalo, Dallas, Pittsburgh, Arizona, Denver, KC and Seattle.

Eastbound and Down, AFC East Notes:

Ryan Fired, Where Do the Bills Go Now?
The Buffalo Bills let go of 2nd-year coach Rex Ryan along with his brother Rob this week. Regardless of whether it was too soon or not, depending on your point of view, it was done. But that wasn’t all that transpired. Apparently, the Bills are going to cut ties with QB Tyrod Taylor this season as well. Jason LaCanfora of CBS Sports is reporting Taylor is out as well after the season.

Taylor injured his groin more than a month ago, so the team is sitting him down this week and starting E.J. Manuel. If Taylor were to play and be more seriously injured, the Bills would be on the hook for over $30 million.

So the Bills must not only replace their head coach but their starting QB as well. Former Bills great, Marv Levy said he would consider it if the Bills come calling.

“[If] they offered, I might do it. It was one of those things where after 47 years of coaching I really needed to get that deep breath to step aside but after a couple of years passed I very much would have liked to come back … But I’d do it but I’m not deluding myself to think that the offer would come. If the offer did come I sure would consider it. Sure.” But Levy is 91 years old and he needs to enjoy retirement.

Tom Coughlin’s name was bandied about a bit during the season, and he would immediately ramp up the rivalry between the Bills and the Patriots. Coughlin, however, sat down with the Jaguars this week, where he coached before and still owns property in the area. The offseason will be a very important one for Buffalo. Stay tuned.

Resilient Dolphins Overcome Slow Start and Injuries to Make Playoffs:
The Miami Dolphins are in the postseason for the first time since 2008. New head coach Adam Gase has done a tremendous job of getting all of the players to buy in and they did it despite a slow 1-4 start but more importantly by overcoming a slew of injuries.

In the past, if a Dolphins team had either started slow or got hit by the injury bug, it would have been…season over, see-ya next year. But not in 2016.

Miami will likely be down four starters from their Week 1 offense and five starters from the defense. Despite this, Miami has adopted a “next man up” mantra under Gase which has served them well.

Revis Wants to be Treated With Class by the Jets:
The New York Jets always seem to be a lightning rod for controversy but the latest involving CB Darrelle Revis is perhaps the most intriguing.

Revis’ future is very much in question at this point. His play has fallen off to the point where opponents no long fear to tread on “Revis Island”, but in fact seek it out. But according to Revis, it will come down to whether or not the Jets treat him “with class.”

“Would I love to be here? Yes,” Revis said to the New York Post. “Will I be back? That’s a great question. My thing would be this: Do the New York Jets want to treat my situation with class or no class? With me being one of the best players in the history of this franchise, do they want me to retire here or not retire here?

“Obviously, everybody’s a little bit concerned because that’s not what I’m displaying anymore. I can’t stay 24 (years old) forever. Every player ages in this game. You’ve got to understand that. Now, can I still play? Yes, I can still play. This game is a love for me. It’s like a girlfriend. And we’ve been dating for a long time — many years. She’s been great to me and I appreciate it. I love my girlfriend.”

Revis has always been a great negotiator and reaped great financial gain by his leverage. But a 31-year old corner with fading skills being paid $15 million in 2017? I’ve always been a great admirer of his, but that takes “class” to another level.

The Jets, like the Bills, have some serious decisions to make this offseason.

Follow me on Twitter @SteveB7SFG or email me at [email protected]

Listen to our Patriots 4th and 2 podcasts on blog talk radio as the writers Russ Goldman, Derek Havens and I from PatsFans.com discuss the latest Patriots news Wednesdays at 12 noon.


Posted Under: NFL Commentary
Tags: 2016 NFL Season 2016 Patriots season Bill Belichick Buffalo Bills Chris Hogan Danny Amendola DeflateGate Denver Broncos Dion Lewis Dont'a Hightower Jabaal Sheard Jimmy Garoppolo Julian Edelman LaGarrette Blount Malcolm Butler Martellus Bennett Miami Dolphins New England Patriots New York Jets NFL Rex Ryan Rob Gronkowski Tom Brady


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